Everything you’ve always wanted to know about Ethiopia (and the Abyssinian pony)—but never dared to ask’

Short, compact and vigorous (in keeping with the Ethiopian horse breed),  A Gallop in Ethiopia: Wax, Gold & the Abyssinian Pony will provide you with some pointers to help you ‘get’ a country that is often misunderstood.

‘A book for anybody interested in Ethiopia who would like to get a better grasp of where the country is headed’

A Gallop in Ethiopia includes three interviews with people who have intimate knowledge of the country. Rahel Shawl is a well-known architect who designed many of the most iconic buildings in Addis Ababa.  Beede Mekonnen is a respected businessman once jailed for the crime of being the grandson of Haile Selassie. Éloi Ficquet co-edited the book Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia (Hurst), and is a former director of the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies.

Filled with insights into what makes Ethiopia ‘tick’, brief chapters include:


  A preamble: ‘Is understanding Ethiopia really rocket science?

  An account of the author’s first failed attempts to understand Ethiopia, starting in the year 2000.

  A sketch of the great Ethiopian writer, Sebhat Guebre Egziabher

  A portrait of Hapte-Selassie (‘The Father of Ethiopian Tourism’) and his secretary,  Ato Worku Sharew.

  Encounters with local (Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus), as well as foreign elites (Bob Geldof).

  An application to Ethiopia of the family theory of Emmanuel Todd.

  A tongue in cheek outline of the importance of the Abyssinian Pony in Ethiopian history.

፠  An afterword by Manuel de Geez, ‘The Era of the Princes—with Drones.’

፠  Three interviews with people who have intimate knowledge of the country.

፠  Ethiopia in 10 words.

፠  A historical chronology of Ethiopia.


Yves-Marie Stranger is a writer and translator. He is the editor of Ethiopia through Writers’ Eyes (Eland Books),  and the author of  Ces pas qui trop vitent s’effacent  (L’Archange Minotaure). His exhibition ‘The Abyssinian Syllabary’ was shown both in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa, Alliance Éthio-Française) and in France (Carré d’Art, Nîmes). You can also listen to The Abyssinian Syllabary podcast on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Youtube. He is the translator of the books Menelik and African TrainDjibouti-Addis Ababa (Hugues Fontaine, Amarna).

A Gallop in Ethiopia: Wax, Gold & the Abyssinian Pony (paperback, 183 pages, $ 10, Kindle ebook, $ 5)



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